I have talked about how hot and dry conditions are right now, and about all of the fires because of these conditions, in a couple of previous posts (here and here). Our county, and many counties and even states, around us have extensive fire bans. For our county, if it has anything to do with fire or could cause a fire, it's probably safe to say it's banned. This includes things like charcoal bbq's, all fireworks including the town's show, and some activities that keep some businesses from being able to fully function. Anyway, the fire danger is extreme, and so are the bans.
On Tuesday, Chad and I went with a friend to Cheyenne to pick up a camper she'd purchased. As soon as we got out of town and away from irrigated lawns, it was very obvious as to why we've got these fire bans. Suddenly we'd entered a completely different landscape from what we are used to seeing this time of year, and it didn't improve the entire trip. Cheyenne is about 4 hours away, and that was a long drive through the dry dry desert. We saw the evidence along the way of some of the large wildfires burning, with huge columns of smoke visible in the morning, and smoke so thick in the afternoon on our way back, that it was more like fog. Whole mountain ranges were obscured and seemed like they'd just disappeared.
It was scary to think about how easy it would be for a fire to start in our county and quickly get out of control. We did see where some grass fires had been, but fortunately they were put out before they'd burned more than several acres.
Usually, things are still green and growing this time of year. But not now. This was our view for several hundred miles:
There's no decent food growing for livestock, there won't be any good hay crop this year, even the sagebrush is shriveled, and it's some of the toughest stuff out there. It is sobering to see the landscape.
Then, yesterday and last night, we had a bit of a reprieve, and certainly an answer to prayer. We received over half an inch of rain from passing storms! I know some of the surrounding areas got even more rain. I hope the active fire areas near us got a good drenching! Along with the rain, we have much cooler temperatures today. It's not enough for our dry dry desert to fully recover, but every drop counts, and it was good to see our parched land get some moisture. Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful rain!